7x7x3/4" steel plate
10' of 3/4" square steel tubing
5 colors of el wire, each color is a single strand approximately 8ft, each color forms a "band" of parallel strands, 10 strands wide, each strand is 2.2mm thick
EL Wire splitter 5-output
12 VDC EL Wire inverter capable of lighting 27-40 ft
12 VDC Wall transformer


More than you're likely to have lying around the house. I do all my work at TechShop in San Francisco

manual mill/cnc tormach
drill & tap
angle grinder
powder coater
soldering iron

Step 1: 3D Model

Design the location of the wires in a 3D modeling program (or just use my design). You don't need the cube to be structurally accurate for this part (ie: made up of hollow bars, etc), you're just trying to figure out the spacing and placement of the wires so that none of the color bands collide with the others.
are you planning on giving this to a museum?
1 word: epic!!!!
Nice project! I love that kind of stuff for my desk. <br>I just have a question. Since EL needs AC, couldn't just plug 220VAC from wall directly to the EL wire? I mean, you are converting 220VAC to 12VDC just to invert it again. Maybe 220VAC is too much, but using a voltage regulator could do the trick.
great idea! would like to see it in the dark...
I like it! A riff on the <a href="http://www.stringartfun.com/section.php/31/1/" rel="nofollow">string and nail art</a> from the 70's. Would be very easy to do in 2D (but does EL wire allow for sharp bends? Or do you have to work it with smooth curves like neon?)
Smooth curves. Kinking the wire causes it to short. Even the stitches on the bottom of my cube were a little too sharp. Caused a lot of shorts.
Since I can't edit the link in my comment I'll have to post a followup; I googled it and string art is properly called &quot;Symmography&quot; - here's a better link: http://www.alinasadventuresinhomemaking.com/2012/02/a-symmography-tutorial.html
how much money did this cost all around
I think it was around $100.
hi nice project i hope to do it sometime soon but may i ask you were you got your supplies like the 5-way splitter thx.
My initial EL wire supplies were ordred from <a href="http://thatscoolwire.com/" rel="nofollow">thatscoolwire.com</a>.<br> I ordered: <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/group.asp?GroupID=10&CategoryID=168" rel="nofollow">40' of 2.2mm EL Wire, in 5 8' strands of different colors</a>, <li> <a href="http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/item.asp?Category=168&SubCategoryID=108&GroupID=&SKU=SPL2-5" rel="nofollow">5 way splitter</a> <li> <a href="http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/item.asp?Category=&SubCategoryID=&GroupID=&SKU=WY-ELI-CUBEBLUE-27-40-WT-WK" rel="nofollow">12 VDC EL Wire inverter capable of lighting 27-40 ft</a> <li> <a href="http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/item.asp?Category=&SubCategoryID=&GroupID=&SKU=12VDC-WL-1%2E5A" rel="nofollow">12 VDC Wall transformer</a> <li> <a href="http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/item.asp?Category=168&SubCategoryID=108&GroupID=&SKU=2%2E2-5P" rel="nofollow">5-Pack of connectors + heat shrink tubing</a> </ul> I was very pleased with everything that I received, except that one color of the wire (Purple) did not glow as bright as the others (Power Green, Dark Blue, Orange, Red). That's just an unfortunate issue when working with EL wire is that different colors will glow with different intensities.<br> <br> That's when I found a nearby place called <a href="http://www.coolneon.com/" rel="nofollow">Fun House Productions</a> in Oakland. They mostly distribute through their website, but I was able to go into their office and see all the colors of wire that they sold so that I could be sure that the wire I chose would match my 4 other colors in brightness. While I was there I bought a toggle switch and extension wire that they recommended in answer to my questions regarding a power switch. They were able to answer my questions and ensured that I didn't attach a switch the wrong section of wire and blow my inverter.<br> <br> If you live in the Bay Area I highly recommend going to&nbsp;<a href="http://coolneon.com" rel="nofollow">Fun House Productions</a>&nbsp;in person as they're incredibly helpful and it helps to see what you're buying in person. If not, either site should ship similar quality products.
thx <br>
It seems like it might be a little structurally unsound, are you sure you used strong enough materials? <br>Of course I'm kidding and I sent you one of my scarce patches to prove it. <br> <br>I think one of the highest compliments you can give a person here is: <br>&quot;that gives me an idea!&quot; And yours did. <br> <br>A lights low or off pic would be nice, as Awesome said.
If only I could weld aluminum :(<br>But alas, until I master that skill, I'm stuck building 30lb indestructible sculptures.<br><br>Can't wait to see your idea come to fruition.<br><br>As for the much requested low lights pic, it will have to wait until I visit my cube in Canada, prolly around Christmastime. The recipient of the cube isn't much a photographer.
I'm glad you saw the humor in my comment, sometimes peope can take what I say the wrong way, having spent a year fabricating communication domes for remote Alaskan villages I can tell you aluminum is not as difficult as some make it seam, sorry seem, anything over 3/16 is a breeze, the problem is it does not look pretty while doing it, after welding steel, alu seems like spitting molten metal with a squirt gun, but pretty soon the joints start to look like you know what your doing. <br> <br>I remember one day my boss thought he could weld better than me, I'd been welding for months by then, he couldn't strike an arc, so I set the current for him, then he couln't keep a bead, so I set the gas and feed speed for him, then he kept sticking the wire so I set up the right tip for him, by then he figured out if I wasn't doing it his way, it was for a reason, still makes me smile. <br> <br>If you have access to a wire feed welder I would encourage you to try a few practice welds, if nothing else it's alot easier to grind down a lumpy alu weld.
Top notch! You should take a picture with the lights off.
this is absolutely amazing!!!! It makes inside the box seem pretty cool...

About This Instructable




Bio: Canadian Software Engineer, living and working in San Francisco, hobby machinist since joining TechShop in 2011.
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